Cath, as in heart catherization. As in the precursor to Olivia's next surgery the Fontan. Tuesday, April 3rd is the day. We were at a birthday party this past weekend for Olivia's heart buddy Keaton (he also turned two!) and one of the moms asked me if we were really going to be "Fontanning" this summer. I chuckled and said I'd prefer to be getting a tan, but Fontanning is what it sounds like is on the agenda instead.
As prep, Olivia needs some blood work done in the event they're going to do anything during the procedure like place stents or coils and want to keep some extra blood on hand just in case. Blech. Since she is the very first case of the day; I believe because she's earned quite the reputation for herself, they will not do her blood work on the same day as the procedure. So now that means that Brian and/or I will need to take in on Saturday or Monday for the blood draws to get the lab work done and have it for Tuesday's procedure.
If all goes well, she'll be out later on Tuesday. If they do anything in the way of ballooning, stents or coils, they keep the kiddos overnight for observation. On top of this bowl of cherries Little Miss is going to the pediatrician today for her two year checkup. As if that wasn't bad enough, she's due for her last round of synagis and at least a tetanus shot. The last tetanus knocked her on her tushy for a couple of days so we'll see how this one fares.
Olivia has had every single procedure on the birthday of someone significant to us and this cath falls on my Uncle Greg's birthday so I hope that's a sign of good things to come. When it comes time for the Fontan to roll around, the hospital is just going to have to work with superstitious me to find a date that happens to fall on a family birthday. With a family as large as mine, it's hard not to have a birthday every few weeks so they better deal!
For the nitty gritty, yes this is a routine procedure done at the hospital. Yes there are risks associated with it as Olivia will be sedated, intubated and then they'll be running a line through her femoral artery up to her heart to measure pressures and gradients. As I just typed that out, I do wonder if they will go in through her neck instead to review the size of her aortic arch - not really any better, but maybe it won't be as restrictive to her mobility. Either way, there's always a risk of excessive bleeding, running the risk of puncturing something that obviously shouldn't be and I'm sure the waive that I sign before the procedure will list death as a potential risk as well.
I thought long and hard about what shoes to wear today before I came into work. Next Tuesday morning, we're going to send a screaming Olivia off on a gurney and think long and hard while they're working on our baby and just pray that she comes back to us exactly how we sent her in.